03 May 2014

The Cook is in the Parlor

A nifty little number from 1947, The Cook is in the Parlor was written to make entertaining fun and allow the cook...well, allow the cook to socialize in the parlor. Even in the 1940's no one wanted to spend their time in the kitchen while the party is in the parlor.  As Marguerite Gilbert McCarthy says:

I wanted to write a cook book that will make cooking seem so easy and entertaining such fun that everyone who reads my book will want to dash to the telephone and invite all her friends in for a party.
Mrs. McCarthy wanted her book to appeal to both the bride and novice cook and the more seasoned cook.  As with a book of this age, there is not a lot of instruction for the reader.  This book also takes full advantage of the wide variety of tinned foods that were coming into vogue.  There are a lot of lovely little sandwich ideas, including 23 different forms for the versatile hamburger.  Salads lean toward canned fruit and vegetables are doused in sauce. This is one of those cookbooks that features a high kitch value on the surface, but delves into the way we once cooked and entertained.  It is definitely not the way we cook today.  It is very interesting to look at the recipes for vegetables, for example, and think how one might serve them without the sauce.

We love a cooked beet.  Check out this recipe.

Creamed Sweet and Sour Beets

Drain 1 can of tiny beets and save the juice.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add 2 tablespoons of sugar, mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour.  Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and gradually add 1/2 cup of the beet juice.  Let cook until thickened. (Prepare in the morning and reheat.)

Heat beets in double boiler and pour into a glass casserole.  Add 1 cup of hot cream  to the beet juice mixture and pour over the beets.  Cover thickly with ground nut meats.  Brown lightly under the broiler.

Creamed beets are not high on our list of yummy veggies.  Simple roasted beets are high on the list.  So if you roast the beets, add a touch of lemon juice and topped with crushed nuts, this would be a fine option.  But if you really want some creamed beets, this one's for you.

1 comment:

  1. I've definitely seen this cookbook somewhere. I think my aunt owned it.


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